How to animate only with imported images?

I made a few frames myself (manually) in Inkscape, I have imported them into Synfig. And I’d like to make them play one after another to see how the animation looks.
I followed the Knight Rider red dot tutorial already, but it doesn’t cover how to use imported images.
I understand how to animated that red dot, by adding keyframes while in Animate Editing mode. But that doesn’t quite apply to my case. As I’m not modifiying/editing/changing my images over any period of time. This is what confuses me. If I’m not changing anything in my images (scaling/rotating/color/etc), then how can I assign each image to their respective keyframes and get’em to play in a sequencial manner? Assuming that’s what I’m to do…

I’ll appreciate someone enlightening me :slight_smile:


Are you looking to do cut out animations?

If I’m using imported images the first thing I do is encapsulate each one. This way you can use the zoom and amount of the encapsulation. You put any masking shapes or rotation layers in there too.

Without knowing what you are doing it is hard to offer suggestions. What format are your drawings in?

I think Michael is just trying to import an image sequence, not a cut out animation.

You need to make a .lst file. Which is done like this:

first put your images in a single folder, We’ll assume they are png files and named image_01, image_02 etc.

Then open notepad or your favourite text editor and write:

FPS 24
0 image_01
1 image_02
2 image_03

save the file as a .lst file in the same folder where the images are. You should then be able to import the lst file into synfig in the same way you would any image.

You can change the frame rate and the image format as you wish.

The number before the image name is the frame number so you can have your image change on whatever frame you want eg.

0 image_01
30 image_02
50 image_03

the image will stay as image_01 until frame 30 when it changes and then changes again at frame 50. You can also re-use the same image file names.

more in depth here.

If you are only wanting to turn a sequence of images into an video Synfig may not be the best program for the task. (I usually render my animations as an image sequence and use other software to turn it to video.) Although synfig can render a video or gif.

Thank you both kindly guys!
I couldn’t have asked for more.

I’ll start with Borance’s advice. Then I’ll try integrating some Cut out animation techniques.
More precisely, I’m aiming for the animation type you see with Kipper the dog

Maybe do myself whatever Synfig cannot do, and leave the rest for Synfig. In the end I just don’t want it to look like a “cut-out-animation”.


Here is a great youtube video that shows how to make a list file very simply. Haven’t done it, but will.

If I had to animate that dog I would start with cutouts. Head, ears, arms, body, all drawn separately on different layers. Put the center of a rotation layer at each joint (eg, elbow, knee…).

Is that drawing all on one layer?

If you just wanted to see how your frames run together try a slide show program?

Hi Javier,

To achieve a good non cut out animation you first need a good key frame drawings. First draw (with paper and pencil or whatever other media) your key poses. If you can show the key poses with the right timing to tell a story then you have 50% of the work done.
Once you finished the animatics then import it to Synfig using the list importer layer or simply animating the file name of a image layer. Then trace over a key frame and tween to the rest.

See this post for an example:

God luck!